Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Australian Catholic University
Website URL
Legal History, Gender History, Cultural History, Common law, Privacy, Defamation, Photography, Cinema, Women's History, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, History of Medicine
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Personal Info

About Me

Jessica Lake is a Research Fellow at the Gender and Women’s History Research Centre in the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences. She is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of legal, cultural and social history during the modern period.

Her first book, The Face that Launched a Thousand Lawsuits: The American Women Who Forged a Right to Privacy, was published by Yale University Press in 2016. It argued that women first forged a ‘right to privacy’ in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by bringing cases to prevent and prohibit the unauthorised publication of their images. Her book was shortlisted for the W.K Hancock Prize by the Australian Historical Association.

She is currently working on a transnational history of sexual slander law in the nineteenth century and a cultural and social history of childhood cancer.

In 2016-2017, Jessica held the Karl Loewenstein Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Amherst College, Massachusetts.

She is a co-editor of History Australia.

Recent Publications

Lake, Jessica, ‘Protecting ‘Injured Female Innocence’ or Furthering ‘the Rights of Women?’ The Sexual Slander of Women in New York and Victoria (1808–1887)’ (July 2021) Women’s History Review

Lake, Jessica, ‘The Advent of the Camera: Technological Rupture, Gendered Implications & Legal Continuity,’ (2021) 17(2) Law, Culture and the Humanities, 172-183

Lake, Jessica, ‘Haematopoesis, or Blood Poetry,’ (2020) 63(4) Autumn Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 683

Lake, Jessica, ‘Disembodied Data and Corporeal Violation: Our Gendered Privacy Law Priorities and Preoccupations’ (2019) 42(1) University of New South Wales Law Journal

Lake, Jessica, ‘The Kodak Camera,’ in Op Den Kamp, Claudy and Dan Hunter (eds), A History of Intellectual Property in 50 Objects‘, 121-128 (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Lake, Jessica, The Face that Launched a Thousand Lawsuits: The American Women Who Forged a Right to Privacy (Yale University Press, 2016).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States, Australia, Britain
Expertise by Geography
Australia, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Gender, Law, Medicine, Race, Sexuality, Women